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17 February 2009 @ 10:10 pm
fic: you can't  
Title: you can't
Rating: PG for angst?
Characters/Pairings: Ten(/Rose)
Spoilers?: For "Doomsday" and "Journey's End".
Genre: Angst
Summary/Exceprt: The last thing the fabric of reality needs is an impatient Time Lord poking holes in it because he misses a single human girl.

Author's Note: Truthfully this is my not-quite-subtle response to something I see a lot in fanfiction that's never quite gelled with me. Also, because clearly writing post-Doomsday angst is a rite of passage that I had not yet performed as a Doctor/Rose author.


The walls close, and he doesn’t look for a way to rip them open.

The walk back to the TARDIS is long and much of the Torchwood tower silent. The Doctor notices neither of these things; instead he notices that his hands are empty and cold as his arms dangle uselessly at his sides, so he keeps his them in his pockets and curls his fingers into fists.

He doesn’t look for a way through, because this is how it was always meant to happen. This is the outcome he’d strove for when he slipped the jumper around her neck, and this is the outcome that has always been inevitable, no matter how many times he’s tried to ignore it. She’s with her family, and this is how it’s meant to be, how it was always meant to be.

Everyone goes home, in the end.

He can’t look because it’s dangerous, because he’s a Time Lord, last of, and risking two universes in favour of very selfish wish-fulfillment is not something he can afford to do. The Void ship, the Cybermen and Torchwood did damage enough on their own, and the last thing the fabric of reality needs is an impatient Time Lord poking holes in it because he misses a single human girl.

There have been times before when making the choice between Rose and the universe has been much harder than he knows it ought to be. The Doctor is quite certain it’s better for Rose and the universe if it’s a decision he never has to make again.

If he believed in any sort of higher power, he might think this is the universe choosing for him.

He won’t look because this is the easy way, because this way he doesn’t have to envision a timeline where years later Rose tires of traveling and steps out of the TARDIS by choice. This way “forever” is a promise that never has to be tested; when it breaks he can blame it on Torchwood and Cybermen and Daleks (always the Daleks) and ignore the irrefutable incompatibility of a human and a Time Lord.

Mostly, though, it’s because he knows if he let himself look for ways to get her back, he’d never stop.

So it’s accident – accident and a very persistent mental nudge from the TARDIS – that leads him to find the last tiny crack between his world and Pete’s. It's accident, because he isn't looking, because he can't.

As he finds a supernova to orbit, he tries not to calculate how many suns he’d need to incinerate in order to pry the crack further apart.

(Roughly 2,187.)

--

The walk back to the TARDIS is short, and Donna’s waiting behind him as he fumbles for his key. The Doctor barely notices; instead he’s distracted by the fleeting comfort of two Time Lord minds mingling with his, and by the rancid jealousy broiling in his veins.

This is the easy way, he knows. Everyone goes home, in the end. The universe -- or maybe Dalek Caan (always the Daleks) -- has chosen for him.

He cannot ignore the irrefutable compatibility of two humans.

The walls will close, and he won’t look for a way to rip them open.
 
 
 
Marinajavabreeze on February 18th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC)
Oh, this very very good. I really liked that he won't find a way as to can't.
Kali_thirty2flavors on February 18th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)
Thanks! I don't mean to say neccessarily that there were ways and he just chose to ignore them, it's just... in lots of fics he spends ages post-Torchwood pre-BWB trying to get to her, and I can't really see him doing that because I don't think he would let himself, for all the reasons listed here. I mean, people can write whatever they want, I just wanted to ...throw out my version.
Hopeful Romantichoperomantic on February 18th, 2009 03:44 am (UTC)
Oh, I really liked this. It's so painfully good. Thank you for sharing.
Kali: reel me in my precious girl_thirty2flavors on February 18th, 2009 03:48 am (UTC)
Thank you!
aleph: i'll write our hearts in sandlacunaz on February 18th, 2009 03:45 am (UTC)
The Doctor/Rose is so hopelessly sad, and I'm not sure yet how I feel about Journey's End. I love your Doctor, by the way -- I'm probably completely biased because it's really the only DW fic I have read, but still. :)
Kali: spend it with you_thirty2flavors on February 18th, 2009 03:49 am (UTC)
I was actually in the tiny minority that flailed all over the place for JE from the start, possibly because I like kind of ambiguous endings like that, but... yeahh.

Thanks! He was terrifying to write at first, not gonna lie.
Clare: dr. who :: CUE SOBBING__dittany on February 18th, 2009 03:51 am (UTC)
As he finds a supernova to orbit, he tries not to calculate how many suns he’d need to incinerate to pry the crack further apart.

(Roughly 2,187.)


!!!!!!!!!
Kali_thirty2flavors on February 18th, 2009 04:01 am (UTC)
I'm going to take that as a good thing?

Also, "I'm burning up 2,187 suns for you" does not have the same ring.
(no subject) - __dittany on February 18th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
Christy [popular slut club]: to keep you warm to keep you safepellnell on February 18th, 2009 03:55 am (UTC)
So sad, but so completely true to Ten.

I love it!
Kali: does it need saying?_thirty2flavors on February 18th, 2009 04:03 am (UTC)
Thank you!
jaradeljaradel on February 18th, 2009 03:56 am (UTC)
I do like this. It doesn't deny the depth of his feeling for her, and it is totally believable in the scope of canon that he would think that way. Everyone leaves him, in the end, one way or another. Well done.
Kali: the oncoming storm_thirty2flavors on February 18th, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)
Thanks! I think, with all that we've seen, it's really not at all out of the realm of probability that he'd accept the ending in Doomsday, even if he didn't like it. We know he's not above sending her away from danger or back to be with her family, so I always thought the chances of him crashing into Pete's World to take her back with him was kind of... slim.
aroniwen on February 18th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
This is one of the most incredibly in character post doomsday fics I think I've ever read. Well done!
Kali: reel me in my precious girl_thirty2flavors on February 18th, 2009 04:14 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you!
Pervy Nine Fancier: tenwall--phanviola_iconshonorh on February 18th, 2009 04:35 am (UTC)
This hurts because it's so true. He has a responsibility to keep the universe whole--or at least not to rip it apart himself--so no, he can't try to pry open a hole to get Rose back. And if he starts to look for ways . . . that way lies madness. He knew he'd lose her some way, sometime, somewhere. So he chooses to let go.

Painful, but somehow just right.
Kali_thirty2flavors on February 18th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)
Yes, that, exactly! That's.. exactly what I was going for, in a few hundred words less, lol.

Thank you!
bubbles234bubbles234 on February 18th, 2009 04:37 am (UTC)
Oh, ouch. That was... wow. I'm going to go cry now.

Breathtaking.
Kali: does it need saying?_thirty2flavors on February 18th, 2009 04:48 am (UTC)
Haha aww, I'm sorry. Thank you!
Sarah: final adventurehence_the_name on February 18th, 2009 04:48 am (UTC)
I am right there with you; it's impossible because it has to be. Perfectly IC.

And oh I am just aching for him all over again, knowing that he's about to lose Donna, too.
Kali: partners in crime_thirty2flavors on February 18th, 2009 04:57 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I know. D: Awww, Donna.
sunnytyler001sunnytyler001 on February 18th, 2009 10:32 am (UTC)
Awww!!! Poor Ten I!!!
(But that was HIS choice, wasn't it?)
Kali_thirty2flavors on February 18th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
Yeahhh he does tend to martyr himself a lot.

Thank you!
Ree: DW - 4x13 reetinkerbell on February 18th, 2009 11:01 am (UTC)
Oh that's just brilliant. Sad and heartachey but oh so brilliant. I love it.
Kali: spend it with you_thirty2flavors on February 18th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
pacejunkie: miss you toopacejunkie on February 18th, 2009 12:45 pm (UTC)
Maybe just a case of bad timing, but the fact that my post Doomsday fic was posted at the same time as yours and that it committed that crime you point out here makes me feel as though this is directed at me. :) I know I'm not the only one that's done it at least. I agree that the Doctor wouldn't try to find a way to get her back or cross that barrier, but perhaps just to say goodbye because they needed some closure? Maybe? Oh well.

The truth is I really loved your fic. Very in character for his tragic and lonely nature. Sometimes I find that aspect of his personality almost too painful to watch on screen and I can't help but want to give him just a little happiness.
Kali: does it need saying?_thirty2flavors on February 18th, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC)
Oh no! Haha no, this wasn't directed at anything in particular, and I don't mean it in a ... "I AM SO RIGHT!" sort of way, just that it comes up in a lot of fanfics and it doesn't work with how I would characterise the Doctor, so I thought I'd mix it up. You are of course free to write whatever you like.

I actually don't write that much of original-recipe Ten, partly because I think it is quite hard to deal with his tragic, lonely nature. Angst like that is usually hard to write without going overboard,so I shy away from it.

I'm glad you liked it, though! Hopefully it didn't sound too accusatory, lol.
(no subject) - pacejunkie on February 18th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
rosewarren: Love storyrosewarren on February 18th, 2009 01:14 pm (UTC)
This was spot on. He loved Rose and he did burn up a sun so he could say goodbye, but he understands the laws of the universe too well. He would not have tried to get back to her. That's why it was Rose who came back in series 4. She wasn't concerned with all of that. It had to be her finding him and not the other way around.

Having said that, I DID write a fic where he came back and found her. *grins*
Kali: reel me in my precious girl_thirty2flavors on February 18th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC)
Oh it definitely had to be Rose to try defying the laws of the universe. Plus a big part of it for me is that I don't think he'd ever (intentionally) take her away from her family. I think he's quite convinced himself that they're what she needs, plus I think he's a bit too fond of Jackie, lol.

Thanks!
Ing: what a day [ten/donna/wilf]hysteriagalore on February 18th, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC)
Oh I loved this. My angstwhore side is doing cartwheels. I really liked that he's not... sappy-I-will-cross-worlds-for-you!Ten but realistic. I've always thought that in the end her separated from him in a parallel world was the best ending according to him, because in a way she'll never "die"...

I must admit thought that when I read about the dimension jumper for a moment I was like: "Why'd he slip a jumper around her neck, was she cold too?" *headdesk* Ahaha.

As he finds a supernova to orbit, he tries not to calculate how many suns he’d need to incinerate in order to pry the crack further apart.

(Roughly 2,187.)

Oh that bit is short but says so much. Gorgeous! :D
Kali: rose tyler -- defender of the earth_thirty2flavors on February 18th, 2009 05:53 pm (UTC)
I just... I don't think Ten likes himself enough to break through universes to get Rose back. He's exceedingly self-sacrificing and I think in this situation he'd see Rose as better off without him. He'd convince himself that she'd be happy in Pete's World and that would be that, because his own happiness is irrelevant.

LOL. That did not even occur to me.

Thanks!
(no subject) - hysteriagalore on February 18th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _thirty2flavors on February 18th, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hysteriagalore on February 18th, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Paula: hug?electrictoes on February 18th, 2009 02:25 pm (UTC)
That was absolutely wonderful, although I must say it kind of broke my heart. Perfect, though. I think that's probably what happened; he wouldn't let himself try. And if he did try he probably wouldn't have stopped.
Kali_thirty2flavors on February 18th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I think he's got too much guilt, as a whole, to feel okay with getting her back. Plus, as honorh said, he knew he'd lose her eventually.
nyaaaaaauuuuuuunyaaaaaauuuuuuu on February 18th, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
I actually scribbled a little something like this myself once (though it never actually became a fic) - but I totally agree with you. The Doctor CAN do practically whatever he wants - impossible is only a word he throws at things he can't explain quite yet - but he WON'T do this. Obviously, to him, this seems less painful than leaving Rose's parting from him up to her or up to their dangerous adventures. Smacks of depression to me, but who can accurately diagnose a Time Lord...

And, then, of course, unexpected!levity made its appearance just as I finished reading this fic, regarding Rose's reactions if she knew the Doctor's thoughts...Because, really, Doctor, it gets a bit repetitive, and Rose is always the one coming back. Maybe it'd go something like this:

The Doctor returns to the TARDIS after one grueling adventure to find Rose Tyler sitting on the jumpseat. She's older, but... not that much older.

"What?" he says faintly.

She stands up, appraises his new look, smiles.

"Oh, yes I can, Doctor."

Rose holds out her hand, her left to his right, and he takes it unthinking. Her smile grows wider.

"Third try's the charm?"
Kali: the oncoming storm_thirty2flavors on February 19th, 2009 05:23 am (UTC)
Obviously, to him, this seems less painful than leaving Rose's parting from him up to her or up to their dangerous adventures. Yep! I think he'd definitely rather have her sealed away safely in some parallel world where he'll never have to see her die than risk getting her killed, and I think he'd always be a little terrified that one day she'd get older and be like "well, that was fun, I think I'll stay behind on this random planet and marry someone I've known for a day". Of course I don't think Rose would ever do that, but given everything I think he obviously has some abandonment issues.

I would be interested to see Rose's reaction if she ever figured it out. I think she'd be quite angry, however valid or invalid his reasons might be.

Thanks!
helygenhelygen on February 19th, 2009 07:53 am (UTC)
This is beautiful. It's stunningly true to the Doctor's character and probably the most realistic look inside his post-Doomsday and post-JE head, and it makes my heart ache for him all the more.
Kali: partners in crime_thirty2flavors on February 19th, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you. It is tragically sad, but I do think it sort of had to be that way.
nothing but the rain: who | the girl with no namewild_sibyl on February 19th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
I have some long jumbled thoughts. I hope you want to read them.

1. I too have never really bought into the much lauded idea that it was impossible for the Doctor to get Rose back. The man has a spaceship that can tow the Earth... it seems to me that punching a whole in the universe would be entirely within his power. That being said I think you're right about him no looking because he cannot, it would go against his code of ethics. I mean... if Rose Tyler can build a Dimension Canon then I imagine that the Doctor could have built one about 1 billion times easier and with better results.

2. The Doctor travelling with Rose is dangerous business for the universe Look at the lengths they will go to be together... The Doctor flies into a fleet of Daleks to get her back, Rose becomes Bad Wolf and dusts the Dalek Emperor, the Doctor dies for Rose, then we've got admissions of love in School Reunion, jagged clockwork angst with Reinette, the Doctor flips his lid in The Idiot's Lantern when Rose's face gets sucked off (he was really pissed then), and then we've got the whole Satan Pit arc... I don't know. I just think that if things would have continued to go as they were going without the Doomsday intervention sooner or later the Doctor would have choosen Rose over the universe and then where would we all be... And I think the Doctor knows that he would have eventually choosen Rose over the universe... and so when Doomsday happens it makes the wrenching descison to let those actions stand. And look at the lengths he let himself go to by just saying goodbye... "Oh hai! I'm the Doctor and I'm going to flippantly destroy a sun for you just so that I can say 'quite right too'"

3. Also, it always kind of struck me as strange that in S4 we see Rose looking for the Doctor but the Doctor doesn't even seem to have an inkling the walls between worlds are crumbling. It seems to me that he would automatcially be aware of that sort of thing because of his tingly Time Lord senses... it speaks to me of a serious case of him avoiding anything that has to do with that kind of thing,
Kali: rose tyler -- defender of the earth_thirty2flavors on February 19th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
HURRAH JUMBLED THOUGHTS!

1. Yeah. I mean, when I watched Doomsday I didn't automatically think "YOU LYING LIAR!!", but given that Torchwood comes up with the technology, uh, twice ...and so do the Daleks... and the Cybermen... yeah, he totally could've. I do think the concern about damaging/fracturing/etc was probably legit, because that's what he spazzes about at Yvonne, but "impossible"? Not so much.

2. Yeah. This is why I think as far as "useful companions" go, Donna wins every time. Traversing time-and-space with your BFF is a lot more logical than traversing time-and-space with your ~tru luv~, because while obviously the Doctor would do what he could to protect Donna, I don't think it would ever be Donna > THE UNIVERSE, whereas ith Rose that's more of a possibility.

In the original script for JE I guess Rose was supposed to be the one trapped in the TARDIS with Handy, and I can't figure out how that would work. Ten loses it when he thinks Donna's dead, I can't really imagine how it would play out if it was like "OH LOOK ROSE *GLEEFUL RUN!* OH LOOK DALEK *FAKE REGENERATION* OH LOOK THE DALEKS CHUCKED ROSE AND THE TARDIS INTO A FIERY PIT OF HELL WTF???"

3. Well he doesn't notice in the end of s2, either, so... idk, maybe his Time Lord senses were not so tingly. But yeah.

(no subject) - _thirty2flavors on February 19th, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Aimee: dw-endaimeekitty on February 20th, 2009 04:03 am (UTC)
really fabulous and true to character, thankyou!
Kali: does it need saying?_thirty2flavors on February 20th, 2009 04:35 am (UTC)
Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
Kali: doctordonna friends_thirty2flavors on February 25th, 2009 01:32 am (UTC)
Thanks! I intended more for it to explain Doomsday than Journey' End, but it seemed like writing one beach scene automatically lead to exploring the other.
victoriatimeblind on February 27th, 2009 07:57 am (UTC)
Mostly, though, it’s because he knows if he let himself look for ways to get her back, he’d never stop.

So beautiful, because it's so true. *tears up* I have that Tennant kicked puppy look in my head again.

(And oh yes. I'm back for more. :D Well... I'll probably be wandering around your LJ for the next few days between schoolwork and what not.)
Kali: the oncoming storm_thirty2flavors on February 28th, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)
Well, it matches his expression in the episodes, then! lol

Thanks! Haha no worries, enjoy your wandering.
Austinjohnmayergirl23 on August 12th, 2009 01:41 am (UTC)
Please stop making me cry over emo!Ten.

Thank you.

(Brilliant fic.)
Kali: the oncoming storm_thirty2flavors on August 12th, 2009 02:40 am (UTC)
Emo Ten is so emo. Hahaha poor Ten, most of what I write for this fandom is happy and/or fluffy stuff with Handy and Rose, but whenever I want angst I bust out some original recipe Ten.
(no subject) - johnmayergirl23 on August 12th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _thirty2flavors on August 12th, 2009 03:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - johnmayergirl23 on August 12th, 2009 02:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _thirty2flavors on August 12th, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - johnmayergirl23 on August 12th, 2009 02:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _thirty2flavors on August 12th, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - johnmayergirl23 on August 12th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
me_so_geeky: DW 10Tardis OTPme_so_geeky on September 20th, 2009 10:15 pm (UTC)
Wow. That was beautiful. Words fail me. I like how you reiterated but tweaked that last bit.
londoca on June 24th, 2010 01:10 am (UTC)
Just read this one and it spot on. I think a lot of fan fiction has made the Doctor too wimpy for lack of a better word. This is exactly what he would think.
some kind of snark faery: doctor who (TARDIS scanner)shyfoxling on May 14th, 2015 09:55 pm (UTC)
Angst, angst, angst! But seriously though, this was quite good.